December 3, 2015

No More Hoax

Eugene H. Dierks, III always was a 12-year-old altar boy at St. Thomas More Church. One day, he served at the 8:30 Mass. During the first reading, he wondered whether the Mass itself was a sham. Perhaps Jesus had fooled everyone around him during His time. Perhaps the worship of Him, over 2,000 years, had been one colossal waste of time.

Then he thought that if God was in fact real, He would have no problem proving it to him. He prayed for a sign, not something that could be doubted or mistaken, but something concrete and real. He hoped that, if God really loved him, personally, He would do this before the end if the Mass.

Throughout the rest of the Mass, he kept looking for his sign. It never came. At the end of the Mass, he led the procession toward the rear of the church, greatly disappointed.

After everyone had left the church, he went back toward the altar, to collect the used communion articles so that they could be cleansed. As he did so, his thoughts turned to what he would do next. He could not go to Mass anymore, having determined for himself it was a farce. He thought about telling his father, but knew he would never understand. His only answer was to go through the motions of attending weekly Mass, until he was old enough to move away from home.

He picked up three empty ciboriums and walked back to the sacristy. Upon reaching it, he took the lids off of the ciboriums and his “jaw dropped.” One of the ciboriums was full.

He quickly motioned for Deacon John to come, but he merely grabbed the ciborium and took it back to the tabernacle. When he got to the sacristy once again, he was confused. He knew there were only three full ciboriums. Since there had been a full ciborium in the sacristy, thought that he must have put an empty one in the tabernacle during the Mass by mistake. Upon returning to the tabernacle just now, however, he found that there were in fact three full ciboriums already there. He shrugged it off, saying, “ I must be getting old.”

Eugene knew differently. He was too scared to mention it at the time, feeling that no one would believe him. The memory of it was not one to leave him though. No longer could he think in the way he had before, that the Mass was just a giant hoax.

Adapted from Proctor, Sister Patricia, O.S.C., 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, Francisan Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004) p. 39-41.


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